Foundation Blog – COVID-19 story is still being written

By Jennifer Miff, President of the DFWHC Foundation

Our COVID-19 story in North Texas is still being written. We hope Spring 2020 will go down in history as a public health victory, but there is still a chance that impatience and fear could get the better of us. Regardless of the outcome, I will always remember this time as a shining example of how our hospitals came together to support each other at unprecedented levels. At the DFW Hospital Council (DFWHC) Foundation, we have seen our members share not only best practices and policies, but also smiles and laughter, and positive energy to keep us each healthy and happy.

In the past blog, I wrote about our mission to be the trusted partner that inspires improvement through collaboration. During the COVID-19 response, we have brought even more people together – executives, HR professionals, clinical educators, patient safety champions, analytics experts, and community health leaders. Through daily collaborations, we have delivered rapid data tracking, capacity forecasting, daycare support, and discharge planning. Our data warehouse insights on co-morbidities by zip code supported COVID-19 education and planning.

While COVID-19 challenges abound, this unique time is also driving innovation. Supply chains are being redefined and we’ve identified new ways to clean and re-use PPE. We are exploring opportunities for virtual Mental Health First Aid without face-to-face training. Our Employee of the Year event will evolve as well — to recognize the healthcare heroes emerging from our hospitals. Being able to stand up and cheer for these healthcare workers is No. 1 on my list when this crisis is finally a memory.

For the rest of 2020, we will refocus the use of patient advisory councils to improve experiences identified during the pandemic, and we will continue to collect data as it relates to COVID outcomes. Our grant work on diabetes clinic referrals to CDC-recognized Lifestyle Change programs and our workforce grants on apprenticeships and skills development program will move forward — with chronic disease and unemployment peaking, these programs will be more important than ever to keep people healthy and stimulate the economy.

As we enter the second month of “Stay Safer at Home” in North Texas, I am counting my blessings for our incredible members who are working together to support the community, for the dedicated DFWHC Foundation staff, for my family, and for my friends who are there for me virtually. We are all in this together. Thank you for everything you do – I am blessed to now count you all as colleagues and friends.